MP and Mayor visit see riot damage

East Ham MP Steve Timms today praised the resilience of local shop owners in the wake of London riots during a walkabout of the high street to see for himself the damage caused by lawless gangs last night.

Mr Timms told the Recorder that he witnessed the damage to shops and pledged to work with shopkeepers on how to stop such events from happening again.

He said: “We don’t want a repeat, we will certainly need to learn some lessons from this to try and ensure that it can’t happen again.”

Of the communities he said: “I’ve heard that in some parts of Newham there were people standing by to make sure there wasn’t any looting and, if that’s happened, then I applaud that. I think that’s a good example of the community coming together and standing up for the whole community together and I welcome that very much.”

He was accompanied by Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales who said the borough did not suffer as much as others.

He added: “We have to catch this bunch of hooligans because that’s all it was, a bunch of criminal hooligans. Stupid, stupid young people.”

In response to accounts that people in Forest Gate and Upton Park took matters into their own hands to stop looters targeting their businesses, the Mayor said: “I think that when people stand up and defend their property and defend their livelihoods then as a politician I think it’s right to say well done. I’m sorry, I’ve got nothing but praise for people standing up for themselves.”

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But he warned of the dangers of taking matters into their own hands, adding, “I’m not going to criticise them.”

West Ham MP Lyn Brown flew back early from her holiday to meet police and the community.

She made a direct appeal to parents: “I want to ask every parent and carer to know where their young people are and keep them away from the incidents.”

And of the actions taken by people in Green Street, she said they were “pretty amazing.”

Rana Mobile manager Muhammad Imran Rana, said a group of youths “just started smashing up shops and then some of the local looters and thieves started moving in. They were targeting big chains like Argos and Currys.